Toshiba to sell troubled Westinghouse unit


The logo of Toshiba is displayed at a Toshiba Memory Corporation's Yokkaichi plant in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture on October 13, 2017.Image copyright
AFP/Getty

Toshiba’s troubled nuclear division, Westinghouse Electric, is set to be acquired by a Canadian company in a deal valued at $4.6bn (£3.4bn).

The deal, which was announced by Westinghouse, would resolve the fate of a business that has weighed on the future of the Japanese conglomerate.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last March.

Shortly after, Toshiba warned that losses in the unit jeopardised its ability to continue as a going concern.

Toshiba has struck deals to sell key assets, including its prized memory chip unit, in an effort to recover. It has been working to sell Westinghouse for months.

The planned buyer of Westinghouse, Brookfield Business Partners, is the private equity division of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.

It counts $15.9bn in assets, with investments in energy, construction and industrial operations.

Brookfield said in a statement that Westinghouse had a strong market position “as the largest service provider to nuclear power plants worldwide”.

It also noted that most of the firm’s profits came from regular services provided under long term contracts.

Letter of intent

Brookfield said it has signed a letter of intent to purchase Westinghouse’s global businesses, to be paid for with $1bn in equity and $3bn in debt financing.

It is also taking on certain Westinghouse obligations, such as pension and environmental commitments.

The firm said it expects the deal to close in the third quarter of 2018, assuming the takeover is approved. The deal includes Westinghouse’s global operations.

Toshiba acquired Westinghouse in 2006 for more than $5bn, but the prospects for nuclear power have dimmed, as oil and renewable energy costs decline and the Fukushima accident hurt the industry’s reputation.



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